5 Stretches That Make You Sleepy So You Can Face-Plant Onto Your Pillow With Ease
Raise your hand if you're guilty of avoiding stretching like the plague. TBH, it's just not the most exhilarating activity in the world. But from shoulder-tightening desk jobs to hip-tensing workouts, your muscles are basically screaming to be lengthened and stretched out. Plus, when it comes to getting some quality shut-eye at night, there are a bunch of stretches that make you sleepy so tossing and turning will be a thing of the past.
Honestly, the worst feeling in the world is when you get home after a long day, you're ready to pass the f*ck out, and then the minute you get into bed, trying to fall asleep suddenly seems more difficult and complicated than the first time you tried to parallel park. But a few simple stretches in your evening routine are sure to help you not only fall asleep faster, but stay in a deeper, longer sleep, too. Stretching helps to improve blood flow throughout your body, which in turn releases tension built up throughout the day, leaving your muscles feeling super sleepy and relaxed by the time you're ready to hit the hay.
So the next time you need a little natural dose of NyQuil, try these five stretches that will help you literally face-plant into your pillow with ease.
1. Unwind With Sleeping Pigeon
Sleeping pigeon pose is a passive movement that provides a deep and relieving stretch to your hips and lower back.
Believe it or not, many of your emotions, stresses, worries, and feelings of negativity can become trapped or stuck in your hip region. This in turn leads to tension and restlessness when it comes time to get some shut-eye.
Try holding sleeping pigeon for a couple of minutes on each side of your body, and really notice the tension melting out of your muscles.
I mean, this stretch literally has "sleep" in its name, so do you really need anymore convincing than that?
2. Prepare For Rest With Reclined Spinal Twist
Supine spinal twist quiets and relaxes the entire body, as it gently massages your back and hips, realigns your spine, and massages your digestive organs. This full-body release is an amazing way wind down both mentally and physically.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply, holding each side for as long as you want. Enjoy the silence in your stretch.
3. Fantasize About Your Pillow In Plow Pose
Plow pose soothes and revitalizes your mind, ridding you of any racing, crowded thoughts and quieting the brain for sleep.
As you get into this stretch, you'll feel some relief in your lower back, specifically. Be sure to support yourself with your shoulders here so there's not too much pressure on your neck.
Breathe deeply, and let your exhales guide you closer toward those juicy feelings of hazy sleepiness.
4. Get Ready To Snooze In Seated Forward Fold
Seated forward fold stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings — all of which tend to carry a lot of tension and anxiety, making it difficult to snooze through the night in peace.
Make sure you only take this stretch as far as feels comfortable for your body. It should feel relaxing, not forced.
You can place a blanket underneath you if your hamstrings are feeling a bit tight. Stay in this pose for a few minutes, fully surrendering yourself to the stretch and feeling your upper body melt closer and closer to your thighs.
5. You Might Be Snoring By The Time Your Legs Are Up The Wall
Legs-up-the-wall pose is a stretch that's really good for relieving lower back pain, but it also helps calm the nervous system, and it gives your hardworking leg muscles a break.
You can stay in this pose for just a few minutes, or even 20 minutes, if you choose. Let your heart rate slow down, and allow your mind to slip into a state of serenity.
Bonus points if your bed happens to be right next to a wall. You can actually do this stretch right in bed and drift off to sleep immediately after which, I can tell you from experience, is just heavenly.